Costa Rica signs Agreement to offset airline flight emissions

Costa Rica forestAt yesterday’s international conference on Sustainable Tourism, Costa Rica’s Minister of Energy, the head of CANACEO and the head of the division of Forestry signed the Climate Conscious Travel Agreement. 

This historic document outlines a unique carbon offset compensation program designed to to offset tourist-related CO2 flight emissions while reducing Costa Rica’s deforestation.

Air transporation represents 95 percent of all CO2 emissions in Costa Rica.

CANAECO will work with tour operators and hotels, acting as a “reservation center” to distribute tour certificates. Shared fees from the three tourist-related sectors will be funneled to Costa Rica non-profits such as the National Forestry Financing Fund and the Sustainable Biodiversity Fund (the latter an arm of the World Bank) for programs to help avoid deforestation.

The impact of this new agreement has far-reaching potential. These include:

  • 95 percent of the CO2 generated by tourism would be compensated and offset
  • costs of carbon offsetting would be shared by the 3 sectors, so that none shoulders the burden alone
  • it would help foster corporate and social responsibility

This could make this uniquely designed program attractive to other countries to participate in.

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